The European Commission made public its emergency preparations in case of a no-deal Brexit which range from residency and visa-related issues to financial services, air transport, customs, the transfer of personal data, and climate policy.
Among the contingency plans, is a proposal to allow British nationals to enjoy visa-free visits for up to 90 days within a 180-day period, but only if the UK government offers the same terms to EU nationals.
The Guardian reported this as follows “The EU has ratcheted up the pressure on Theresa May by publishing a fresh batch of no-deal plans including the warning that it will only allow UK nationals to make short visa-free visits to EU destinations if the policy is reciprocated by the British government.”
A statement issued by the commission said that even if a deal was struck and ratified before the UK leaves on 29 March 2019, there would be fundamental changes to the way businesses could operate in the new environment.
In the statement the European Commission said “The European Commission has today proposed to grant UK citizens visa-free travel to the EU after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. It would mean that UK citizens would not need a visa when travelling to the Schengen area for short stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. In the scenario where the UK leaves the EU without a deal, this would apply as of 30 March 2019. If a deal is reached, however, it would apply as of the end of the transition period, as outlined in the Withdrawal Agreement. This follows the Commission’s continued commitment that citizens’ rights must come first in the negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
This proposal is entirely conditional upon the UK also granting reciprocal and non-discriminatory visa-free travel for all EU Member States, in line with the principle of visa reciprocity. The UK government has declared its intention not to require a visa from citizens of the EU27 Member States for shorts stays for the purposes of tourism and business. EU rules on non-EU nationals travelling to the EU, such as those on border control, would of course apply to UK citizens once they are no longer EU citizens.
Today’s proposal is one of the preparedness measures needed as a consequence of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. It is separate to the ongoing negotiations on the UK’s orderly withdrawal.”
“This proposal is entirely conditional upon the UK also granting reciprocal and non-discriminatory visa-free travel for all EU member states, in line with the principle of visa reciprocity,” a statement said. Frans Timmermans, the vice-president of the European commission, warned: “We will do upon you what you do upon us.”
“While the European commission is working hard for a deal, and continues to put citizens first in the negotiations, the UK’s withdrawal will undoubtedly cause disruption – for example in business supply chains – whether or not there is a deal,” the commission said. “Contingency measures cannot remedy the full effects of this disruption.